Starting a Garden From Seeds


Starting a garden from seeds is not only a rewarding experience, but also can often be much more affordable than purchasing potted plants from a nursery or garden center. Look over a few garden guides for your region and make a list of the types of plants you find attractive. From there you can purchase seeds from your list and start preparing for your new garden. For best results, start your seeds indoors to control their environment, and plant outside later for a full-looking garden instantly.

Step 1

Plan out how you want your garden to look on paper, taking into account the types of plants you want, their mature sizes, and whether your garden location is in full sun or shade. From your garden design, count out the number of plants you need of each type.

Step 2

Prepare small pots in your seed trays by filling them with soil. You'll want to set up enough pots to grow as many plants as your garden design dictates. Place your trays in a sunny, south-facing window or under a grow light.

Step 3

Follow the guidelines on your seed packets to plant your seeds at the correct depth for the type of seeds you have. While some seeds will be an inch deep, others only need to be lightly mixed with the top of the soil.

Step 4

Add an inch of water to the seed tray. As the water is absorbed into the pots, continue to refill the tray until the top layer of soil in each pot looks moist. Cover the tray with the lid to create a mini greenhouse for the seeds to germinate.

Step 5

Water again whenever the soil looks dry. You should notice that as your seeds germinate and the seedlings get taller and produce leaves that you will need to water more frequently. Remove the lid of the tray when the seedlings have reached it.

Step 6

Plant out into the garden following your diagram once the seedlings have been growing for at least 2 months. Keep the seedlings well watered for the first month or two outside until you see new growth.

Step 7

Continue regular watering as needed based on the types of plants you are growing and the rainfall for your area. An irrigation system in the garden can help you control the amount of water going into the soil and make the task easier on you.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not let your soil go dry or the seeds may not germinate and seedlings hardly recover once withered. Placing a Popsicle stick or clay worm into the soil can be a visual indicator of your soil's moisture levels.

Things You'll Need

  • Graph paper and pencil
  • Seed packets
  • Seed trays with lids
  • Small pots
  • Pan or tray
  • Grow light or sunny window
  • Garden soil
  • Seeds
  • Water
  • Hand trowel
  • Garden hose or irrigation system


  • "Success With Seeds;" Chris Wheeler and Valerie Wheeler; 2004
Keywords: starting a garden from seeds, growing seeds, starting with seeds

About this Author

Writing from Virginia, Margaret Telsch-Williams specializes in personal finance, money management, gardening, crafts and sewing, cooking, DIY projects and travel. When not writing instructional articles online, she works for the website Widescreen Warrior as a contributor and podcast co-host discussing all things film and entertainment. She holds a Bachelor of Science in biology and a master's degree in writing.